Accomplishments this semester include: more range of motion in my body, being able to stretch on the top barre in ballet, understanding shift of weight, understanding that balancing doesn't come from holding it but lengthening through it, and getting creative with movement (in composition class). I feel that I have learned so much this semester and I wish I had more time to take classes and apply the concepts I have learned even further. This summer I have many Color Guard committments and I will not be able to take any classes but I will be teaching a lot of dance. I can't wait to teach my students these concepts that I have learned this past semester. The biggest one is lengthening the body and sending the energy out through every limb in the body. This applies to every type of movement! Even though my guard students are at a beginning level in areas of dance I feel that this concept is very important.
Over the summer I plan to work out with yoga and pilates dvds, an exercise ball, therabands, and I plan to stretch like crazy! I want to get more flexible this summer and with it being hot outside I can get really warm and then work on my body. I always feel really tight every day that I come into class and I want to get my body in better shape in terms of flexibility. I also plan to concentrate on strengthing my core. This past semester I have learned how important it is to have a strong core. You cannot support your body with only strong legs, arms, glutes, etc. Your core is the center of all of your movement and without it being very strong, you risk having back problems and a "muffin top." I plan to do many different ab workouts and I want to cut out sugary foods and drinks from my diet. I know that I can't completely quit eating my favorite sugary things but if I take one step at a time I know it can make a difference by the end of the summer.
In the fall I plan on taking classes two days a week at HCC. I am going to audit ballet and modern since I will begin substitute teaching the other three days of the week. This is exciting for me because this may be what I do for the rest of my life along with continuing to dance and teach Color Guard. I plan to further my dance education but I haven't decided exactly where. I am interested in dancing with a modern dance company and taking many more technique classes. I am also thinking about learning to dance en pointe in ballet so we will see what happens :)
Undercurve forward, undercurve back swinging arms in the direction you are undercurving with a slight high release or contraction. Chasse forward circling arms in a backwards stroke, saute with the left foot in coupe with arm scooping up. Tuck the left leg under and roll onto back shifting pelvis up to the ceiling. Recover by rolling up. Repeat going to the back: undercurve backward, undercurve forward, chasse back then run in a circle over your right shoulder. Finish in first position facing the left corner. Undercurve to the right side, undercurve to the left side (swinging arms in the direction you are undercurving with a slight tilt in the upper body). Eye track your arms as they swing to the right and left sides. Chasse to the right swinging arms counter-clockwise on the vertical plane and saute at the end with left foot in coupe. Direction change to the left and spiral into the floor (head tail). Recover in first position facing the front. One degage en croix with arms passing through 5th, then 2nd, then 1st, then again in 2nd. Using the right foot, shift your weight forward with arms in 5th, shift to the right side with arms in 2nd, shift to the back with arms in 1st, then shift again to the right side with arms again in 2nd. Repeat the whole combination on the left side!
The dancer in this photo is executing penche en pointe. Her focus is past her fingertips and she is eye tracking her right hand. Her upper body weight is shifted slightly forward to keep her balance while her leg is up. There is energy going up and out in her left leg and she is reaching up towards the ceiling with her left foot. Her center is very strong and she has nice turnout in her left leg. Her right leg is parallel because you are supposed to keep the standing leg parallel when doing penche. She has great poise and there is energy being sent through her fingertips. She is beautiful!
Currently, I feel that I am in good health. I haven't gotten too ill lately and I feel that I have been getting enough sleep to function properly. My body is doing pretty well but I know I can improve one thing. I need to work on my core getting stronger. I need to do some abdominal work outs and try to cut out some sugary foods including the sacred coca cola that I love so much. Not having my core as strong as it should be keeps me from furthering my dancing. For example, turning. You must have a very strong center and you must keep the pelvis in the right place. I know that other parts of the body can be a factor in whether or not turning is successful but for me personally, it is my abs. I know that when doing pirouettes in ballet I tend to lean back with my upper body and sometimes my pelvis isn't underneath me properly when preparing for the turn. I know that if I would just keep those abs lifted and tight, my turns would get better!
The concept of eye tracking has been one thing that I have really tried to focus on lately. The concept kind of grabbed my attention in one of Acosta's center combinations and during plies in ballet. It is very important that you don't just stare at yourself in the mirror while you are dancing. Your head, in dance, is considered an extremety along with the arms, legs, and pelvis. You must know where the placement of the head is in everything. Also, you actually feel like you are dancing more fluidly when you eye track. I understand that you need to see yourself in the mirror to check placement, but you have to break away from the mirror crutch and dance it full out using whole body!